My review for Bit Literacy: Productivity in the Age of Information and E-mail Overload by Mark Hurst.

This book is pretty hard to review because there is too much information.  It’s surprising to me.  I wasn’t even sure I was going to read this book.  I discovered it through my favorite business book reading list, Personal MBA. I thought I practically grew up in the digital age.  I have a graduate degree in Information Science. Learning to program. blah, blah, blah.

There is some redundant stuff because this book, reviewing URLs and to make sure the URL in the emails you receive are legitamate, but that’s not common knowledge to everyone.  In Josh Kaufman’s PMBA review, his final sentence says, “even advanced users will pick something up.”  This is 100% true.  I picked up a ton of useful information which would take up much more time than I have for one post.

Seth Godin’s blurb on the front of the book says,”This is the Elements of Style for the digital age.”  I think that’s 100% true.  This should be required reading for anyone entering the workforce.  Though I think it’s the combination of two books.  I’d restate it to say, “This is the combination of the Elements of Style and Getting Things Done for the digital age.”

As Josh points out in his review, a lot of this book deals with email. It also deals with handling todos, media consumption, saving files, creating files, handling photos, and  working more efficiently.  This book is about productivity.

I think it does a better job than Getting Things Done, which is a good book.  I’ve read it and tried to implement the system but where that system gets bogged down by the bits.  The system Hurst explains, that has a lot of the same principles as GTD, is able to manage.  Getting Things done is paper based but many have tried to digitize it.  Hurst finally tells you how to digitize your life in simple and manageable steps.

The advice in this book has helped me clear my work and personal inboxes, organize my todos and files, improve my work with a number of helpful programs to download, and how to handle my exploding iPhoto  album.

It’s only been a few days since I’ve finished Mark’s book and began implementing his suggestions.  I still haven’t download a lot of the programs he suggested.  I’m planning on doing that in the next few days.  I have been following his run of emptying my email at least one a day and I have noticed a significant difference in the way I feel.  It’s refreshing to see it empty at least once during the day.  I’ve chosen to do it before I end my day.  It’s made my mornings less daunting and more structured because I know what I need to work on and where to find it.

That’s a win, and something everyone should hope to achieve.